Extra-familial social factors and obesity in the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Julia I. Bravin
  • Angela P. Gutierrez
  • Jessica L. McCurley
  • Scott C. Roesch
  • Carmen R. Isasi
  • Alan M. Delamater
  • Krista M. Perreira
  • Linda Van Horn
  • Sheila F. Castañeda
  • Elizabeth R. Pulgaron
  • Gregory A. Talavera
  • Martha L. Daviglus
  • Maria Lopez-Class
  • Donglin Zeng
  • Linda C. Gallo

External Institution(s)

  • San Diego State University
  • Harvard University
  • Yeshiva University
  • University of Miami
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • National Institutes of Health


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-959
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
StatusPublished - Oct 1 2019


Hispanic/Latino youth are disproportionately affected by obesity. However, how social factors outside of the family relate to Hispanic/Latino youth obesity is not well understood. We examined associations of extra-familial social factors with overweight/obesity prevalence, and their variation by sex and age, in 1444 Study of Latino Youth participants [48.6% female; 43.4% children (8–11 years); 56.6% adolescents (12–16 years)], who were offspring of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants. Youth self-reported general social support from friends, dietary-, and physical activity (PA)-specific support from peers, and awareness/internalization of thinness ideals. Overweight/obesity was defined as body mass index ≥ 85th percentile. Logistic regression models assessed effects of social factors and their interactions with age-group and sex, adjusting for potential confounders. Social support from friends interacted with both age and sex in relation to overweight/obesity. Female children who reported lesser (OR 0.60; 95% CI [0.39, 0.91]) and female adolescents who reported greater (OR 1.35; 95% CI [1.06, 1.74]) social support from friends had higher odds of overweight/obesity. Among males, greater awareness/internalization of thinness ideals related to higher odds of overweight/obesity (OR 2.30; 95% CI [1.59, 3.31]). Awareness/internalization of thinness ideals was not associated with overweight/obesity among females. Dietary and PA-specific peer support did not relate to overweight/obesity. Social support from friends and awareness/internalization of thinness ideals were significantly related to odds of overweight/obesity in Hispanic/Latino youth; associations varied by age and sex, and persisted after control for intra-familial factors (overall family support/function; diet and activity specific support).

    Research areas

  • Children, Hispanic, Latino, Obesity, Peer support, Social factors

Citation formats


Bravin, J. I., Gutierrez, A. P., McCurley, J. L., Roesch, S. C., Isasi, C. R., Delamater, A. M., ... Gallo, L. C. (2019). Extra-familial social factors and obesity in the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 42(5), 947-959. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00022-7


Bravin, JI, Gutierrez, AP, McCurley, JL, Roesch, SC, Isasi, CR, Delamater, AM, Perreira, KM, Van Horn, L, Castañeda, SF, Pulgaron, ER, Talavera, GA, Daviglus, ML, Lopez-Class, M, Zeng, D & Gallo, LC 2019, 'Extra-familial social factors and obesity in the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth', Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 947-959. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00022-7